Three Complaints, Three Different Outcomes

Some pals and I recently took a trip to Italy, and on our nine-hour flight back home, we discovered that the entertainment systems wouldn’t be working. We all dealt with it in our own way: I finished a book and used my iPhone to calculate expenses for our one-week trip and tried to nap when there was nothing else to do. One friend made attempts to nap or work on her laptop, and another felt so stir-crazy she spent $18 for one hour of internet access. Later, we each contacted Delta separately and told them about our experience (I’ve had success with this before when flying JetBlue).

Here’s where it gets interesting: The three of us each got responses and were each give different “gestures of apology.”

• The friend who received the first response received 15,000 bonus miles
• The next friend who received a response received a $150 credit
• I just received a response and was given 7,500 bonus miles

It all seems very random!

To be honest, I’m happy to have received anything at all, but I sent another message telling them about the different gestures and asked them how they determined them. We’ll see if I get another response!


I received the following response from Delta:

I’m sorry you didn’t receive the same compensation as another passenger.

I’m adding additional 7,500 bonus miles to your SkyMiles accounts. They should be transferred into your account within three business days.

We appreciate your business. Thanks for choosing Delta.


[Customer Service Rep]

I guess the lesson here is: It really does pay to complain? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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